A bronze statue of a young topless woman who appears to be taking a sexting-style picture of herself has caused outrage in a Kansas City Park.
The bare breasted, headless female figure in Overland Park Arboretum is pointing a camera at herself and the American Family Association of Kansas and Missouri has said that it is obscene and promotes sexting in a venue where families take children.
This week the group collected 4,700 signatures, 1,000 more than is needed to compel a judge in Johnson County to convene a grand jury to investigate whether the work ‘Accept and Reject’ by Chinese sculptor Yu Chang is unacceptable.
In June, local resident and mother Joanne Hughes started a campaign to have the statue removed out of the sight of children and was joined in her efforts by the conservative American Family Association soon after.
‘Well it’s the venue,’ said petitioner Joanne Hughes about why she feels the artwork should be moved.
‘I have been to Florence, Italy, I have seen the statue of David and its beautiful, he is not taking a picture of himself.
‘The venue is where kids go on school field trips, their parents aren’t with them.’
The Overland Park Arboretum has put up signs to warn parents that there are artworks in the botanic gardens which show the human body, but this is not enough for Hughes.
‘It’s small, it’s a paragraph and the very last line says oh, by the way human form is exhibited, parental guidance is encouraged,’ said Hughes.
‘That’s not the sign that you put up somewhere about a sexting sculpture.
Philip Cosby of the American Family Association said to Fox 4 News, ‘When it comes to sexting and children it’s a serious issue.’
‘It’s beyond comprehension why a city would put a statue that’s celebrating sexting.
‘Obviously, 4,700 people agreed with us – there is something basically wrong with this sculpture.
‘That just hits you in the gut.’
The Johnson County District Attorney, Steve Howe said that he will not be advising the grand jury either way in this issue.
‘Ultimately the grand jury will be speaking on behalf of the community in making this decision,’ said Steve Howe.